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Oral History of Coming to America

5 immigrants recall their ocean crossing and arrival at Ellis Island and other U.S. ports in the 1900s to 1930s

Ellis Island

— Bettmann/CORBIS

In the 1970s, the National Park Service began taping immigrants' memories of their ocean crossing to America, their reasons for immigration and tales of everyday life in their country of origin. Below are five excerpts from the collection of more than 1,700 audio recordings that are available online for free at
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